Tag Archives: Corus Entertainment

Making It Home’s Kenny Brain is feeling at home on HGTV Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic caused chaos in the film and television industry. When productions weren’t completely shut down, contact between cast and crew was deeply restricted. For Kenny Brain, it meant he wasn’t able to really get to know his co-star, Kortney Wilson until cameras were rolling on Season 1 of Making It Home with Kortney and Kenny.

“The first time Kortney and I met face-to-face was about an hour before they yelled, ‘Action!'” he says with a laugh. “We did some online stuff but nothing in-person until we showed up to film.

“My legs were shaking when I walked in,” he recalls. “I’m thinking, ‘How did I end up here? Did I make the right decision?'”

Those worries were for naught. As viewers see when they tune in, there is a connection, chemistry and repartee between the duo. That’s even more pronounced in Season 3 of Making It Home with Kortney and Kenny. Currently airing Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada, each instalment follows Wilson and Brain as they visit properties in dire need of a makeover. With her spunk and design know-how and his consummate contracting skills, it’s a wild, funny and tear-filled ride.

It’s been quite the journey for Brain. The Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland, native first made waves on Canadian TV when he appeared on Season 2 of Global’s Big Brother Canada. Once his stint on reality TV came to an end, Brain didn’t plan on returning to the small screen.

“I thought Big Brother Canada would be a one-off,” Brain says. “A really cool, massive experience, but I never dreamed I would end up where I am today.” Brain was quite comfortable transforming properties across the country, something he fell in love with in his 20s when he helped friends renovate their home and cabin. Putting the time and energy into something with his own hands that provided a tangible result had great allure. It quickly turned into his every day.

Now Brain finds himself standing among some of the biggest names in Canadian DIY, mentioned alongside Bryan Baeumler, Scott McGillivray, Sarah Richardson, Jonathan and Drew Scott, Mike Holmes, Sarah Keenleyside and Sebastian Clovis. It’s not something he takes for granted.

“HGTV Canada is such a staple in people’s homes,” he says. “To be a part of that family and to feel supported, I have to pinch myself because I never imagined my life being where it is right now.”

Making It Home with Kortney and Kenny airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada.

Image courtesy of Corus Media.


Global original scripted series Robyn Hood begins production June 20

From a media release:

Following yesterday’s exclusive announcement at Banff World Media Festival, Global confirms the start of production and casting details for new original scripted series, Robyn Hood. With filming beginning June 20 in the Toronto and Hamilton area, Robyn Hood is produced by Boat Rocker, created by innovative music video director and filmmaker Julien Christian Lutz pka Director X (Superfly, Mister Tachyon), and written by award-winning screenwriter Chris Roberts (Orphan Black, Frontier).

Set to premiere on Global in the 2023 broadcast year, the eight-episode, one-hour contemporary re-imagining of the Robin Hood legend follows fearless heroine Robyn Loxley and anti-authoritarian masked hip-hop band, The Hood, as they call out injustices and fight for freedom and equality in the city of New Nottingham.

The heroic tale stars an aspiring cast including:

· Jessye Romeo (Pennyworth) as Robyn Loxley, young rapper and leader of The Hood
· Nykeem Provo (The Right One) as Little John, Robyn’s daring right hand man and member of The Hood
· Idrissa Sanogo (Titans) as Alan A. Dale, The Hood’s charming music producer
· Daniela Kharlamova (The Boys) as Much, a mechanical genius and The Hood’s vocalist
· Jonathan Langdon (Run the Burbs) as Tuck, The Hood’s eccentric hacker
· Sydney Kuhne (Kim’s Convenience) as Marian Fitzwalter, a determined lawyer
· Ian Matthews (The Hardy Boys) as John Prince, a wealthy and villainous real estate tycoon in New Nottingham
· Kira Guloien (Murdoch Mysteries) as The Sheriff, a strong-willed and corrupt sheriff who runs a tight surveillance in New Nottingham
· Manuel Rodriguez (Black Summer) as Guy Gisbourne, a ruthless criminal kingpin and rapper
· Lisa Michelle Cornelius (Chucky) as activist Tressie Loxley, Robyn’s mother

Robyn Hood follows Robyn Loxley, a young woman whose masked hip-hop band, The Hood, is known for their inventive videos and anti-authoritarian message. She lives in Sherwood Towers, a community of rental high-rises in a working-class corner of New Nottingham, where the cost of living has skyrocketed, leaving an ever-widening gap between the rich and everyone else.

When Robyn finds herself fighting for her home and her family against local property developer John Prince and The Sheriff of New Nottingham, Robyn and her band The Hood decide to fight back, righting the wrongs of the corrupt elite to give back to the people.

Robyn Hood is produced by Boat Rocker in association with Corus Entertainment. The series is executive produced by Julien Christian Lutz pka Director X (Superfly, Mister Tachyon) for Creative Rain, Chris Roberts (Orphan Black, Frontier), Kerry Appleyard (Orphan Black, X-Company) for Boat Rocker, Jill Green (Alex Rider, Magpie Murders) for Eleventh Hour Films, and Luti Fagbenle (Maxxx) for Luti Media, with Boat Rocker handling global distribution. For Corus, Kathleen Meek is Production Executive; Rachel Nelson is Vice President, Original Content, Scripted, Factual and Kids; Lisa Godfrey is Senior Vice President of Original Content and Corus Studios.


Corus Entertainment announces more than 200 additional hours of original Canadian content

From a media release:

Today, Corus Entertainment announces its complete lineup of premium original content for 2022/2023 with an incredible 45 total greenlights and renewals, including more than 600 episodes and24 titles from Corus Studios. 

This year, Global welcomes back Departure and Family Law – two sophomore hits to its acclaimed slate of original scripted series. In addition, casting is underway and production is set to commence on the exciting new action-drama Robyn Hood. On the unscripted side, Global remains home to the best in award-winning entertainment news coverage with ET Canada
With content sold to more than 150 countries around the globe, Corus Studios continues to be a leader in original Canadian lifestyle and unscripted series, extending its catalogue with six new series and 16 returning shows across Food Network Canada, HGTV Canada and The HISTORY® Channel, plus a new feature-length documentary that will debut on W Network. 
Celebrating its 50-year milestone, Nelvana maintains its position as a world-renowned international producer and distributor of children’s animated and live action content, with content seen in over 180 countries around the world. This year is no exception, with new series, seasons and episodes coming soon to Corus’ leading kids’ networks, YTV, Treehouse and TELETOON. 

For full descriptions of new and returning original series across all networks please click here. 


Global’s acclaimed scripted slate includes Season 2 of last fall’s #1 new Canadian series Family Law*, starring Jewel Staite and Emmy® nominee Victor Garber, which was recently greenlit for Season 3 with production currently underway in Vancouver. Also upcoming on Global is Season 2 of Canada/Ireland co-production Departure starring Emmy® winner Archie Panjabi and Oscar® winner Christopher Plummer. Then, from acclaimed filmmaker Director X and Boat Rocker is Robyn Hood, a modern reimagining of the classic Robin Hood story set to begin production this summer in the Toronto and Hamilton area with casting to be announced soon.  

Additionally, ET Canada is back on Global for Season 18, fresh from winning four Canadian Screen Awards including Best Talk Program or Series. In addition, ET Canada Weekend has been renewed for Season 2 bringing audiences all the latest entertainment news headlines of the week.


Food Network Canada 

A Top 10 specialty network** and the ultimate culinary destination, Food Network Canada satisfies appetites with the renewal of five standout original series as part of its lineup. 

Food Network Canada’s new greenlights include the most prestigious culinary competition series in the country and a Top 20 overall specialty entertainment program in spring ‘21*** Top Chef Canada, which is making its return for a milestone 10th season. In the serialized series, a new roster of talented professional chefs will compete in high-octane challenges for the sought-after title of Canada’s Top Chef. The competitions continue with Season 3 of the larger-than-life themed baking series The Big Bake (7×60 Halloween and 7×60 holiday-theme) from Corus Studios. Celebrated YouTube personality and cookbook author Danni Rose joins the panel of resident judges alongside host Brad Smith, chef and author Eddie Jackson and acclaimed pastry chef Ron Ben-Israel. A Top 10 program on Food Network Canada this spring****, Corus Studios’ Great Chocolate Showdown (8×60) returns with more delectable ooey-gooey creations in its fourth season.  

More from Corus Studios includes previously announced new episodes of sizzling competition series Fire Masters (10×60) with host Dylan Benoit, and the always charismatic John Catucci takes viewers on mouthwatering food travelogue adventures with new episodes of Big Food Bucket List (9×30). 

The HISTORY Channel 

The HISTORY Channel comes to life this year with more new original content than ever before. The network’s slate is set to offer a slew of factual and unscripted content including the renewal of five Corus Studios hit series and two groundbreaking documentaries that are sure to educate and entertain audiences.  

In honour of Canada’s National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, a new two-hour documentary sheds light on the history of the relationship between Indigenous people and settlers. True Story (2×60) offers a critical lens to the past, revealing some shameful and heartbreaking truths, as well as uplifting and inspiring hope.  

For Remembrance Day, Our War (2×60) uncovers stories about extraordinary individuals who made heroic contributions to WWI and WWII. From the descendent of one of Canada’s first Black servicemen, to the great-grand-nephew of a female intelligence officer stationed at Bletchley Park, the documentary follows these descendant’s investigations into their families’ historic pasts. 

New from Corus Studios this fall is previously announced series Deadman’s Curse (8×60), following a diverse team of explorers on a quest to find a legendary cursed gold mine in B.C. Fan-favourite Corus Studios series Backroad Truckers (Season 2, 8×60), Big Timber (Season 3, 8×60), Lost Car Rescue (Season 2, 6×60), and Rust Valley Restorers (Season 5, 8×60) all return this year, along with Salvage Kings (Season 3, 8×60), which sees Ted taking the ultimate risk of opening his own salvage business with a team of familiar and new faces. 

HGTV Canada 

HGTV Canada is the nation’s destination for all things home. With 12 Corus Studios series upcoming, including seven returning favourites, HGTV Canada continues to be the go-to network for inspiring and heart-warming programming that fits any style.  

The #1 Canadian Specialty series*****, Island of Bryan (8×60) continues with new episodes this fall, with even more Baeumler adventures upcoming. Corus is prepping a new Untitled Baeumler Project (working title) (10×60) in development and slated for 2023, plus Bryan will team up with co-host Scott McGillivray in the new previously announced competition series Renovation Resort (7×60). The frenemies oversee four talented contractor/design duos as they each transform a waterfront cabin into a one-of-a-kind vacation rental for a chance to win a $100,000 prize. Viewers will see Scott reunited with Debra Salmoni in Season 4 Scott’s Vacation House Rules (14×60), which is newly greenlit. 

Sarah Richardson takes on her own vacation rental challenge this fall in the previously announced Sarah’s Mountain Escape (10×60). The series follows Sarah and her husband, Alexander Younger, as they transform a run-down B&B in Whistler, B.C. into a four-season luxury vacation rental property. Another West coast-based design and renovation series is Pamela Anderson in Pamela’s Garden of Eden (8×60). The previously announced series, coming this fall, follows Pamela as she revitalizes her grandmother’s six-acre legacy property on Vancouver Island into a stunning retreat. Another new personality to the network is no-nonsense luxury home designer Ali Budd, who leads a creative team to renovate and build incredible million-dollar renovations in Ali Budd (working title) (8×60).  

Off the heels of their series premieres, Sebastian Clovis will offer more empathy and experience to overwhelmed homeowners in Season 2 of Gut Job (8×60), while the cross-Canada renovators from Hoarder House Flippers (8×60) will return to tackle a new batch of disaster houses in a brand new season. Renewals continue with a new season of Top 20 Specialty series Rock Solid Builds (8×60)*****, as well as fellow Corus Studios series’ Farmhouse Facelift (8×60) and Making it Home with Kortney and Kenny (10×60). New episodes of Property Brothers: Forever Home (20×60) staring HGTV Canada’s beloved brothers are also confirmed.   


W Network spotlights the prolific career of sex educator Sue Johanson in Sex with Sue (1×90), directed by Lisa Rideout. Viewers will be reintroduced to the former W Network personality and see the unexpected and exciting ways her legacy lives on today.  

Corus Studios dives deeper into scripted content with the previously announced set of romantic movies The Love Club (4x120min). The movies follow four women, each dealing with their own dating debacle, who take a vow to call on one another if they are ever in romantic trouble again – a vow that has them resurrecting their “Love Club” ten years later as each of them search for their unique happily-ever-after. The first movie is set to premiere on W Network Winter 2023. The movies will be distributed through Corus Studios. 


 Corus is pleased to announce its second Canadian original series for Adult Swim, the popular network that offers an unexpected blend of authenticity, originality, and cleverness. The animated Red Ketchup (20×30), commissioned and greenlit by Corus’ French channel Télétoon la nuit, is based on the cult Quebec comic book series from the ‘80s of the same name. Featuring FBI’s crazed rogue agent, Steve “Red” Ketchup, the series will premiere in Canada on both Télétoon la nuit and in English on Adult Swim in 2023. Plus, the previously announced first Canadian original series for Adult Swim, Psi Cops (24×11), is set to premiere on Adult Swim Winter 2023. “Top” detectives Agent Kydd and Agent Felixx, of the secret agency Psi Cops, investigate spiritual phenomena, extraterrestrial life, and paranormal activity using their overly competent incompetence.


 Nelvana continues to deliver premium entertainment for kids with compelling storylines and characters, by nurturing creator-driven projects and best-in-class partnerships.  

The previously announced Best & Bester (52×11) is set to premiere this fall on YTV. A co-production between Nelvana, Eye Present and Gigglebug Entertainment, the series follows two siblings and best friends obsessed with comparing the best things of all time while enjoying the power to transform themselves into anything they want, once a day – if only they can figure out what the best thing to be actually is! 

More fresh content from Nelvana landing on Corus’ kids networks this fall includes new episodes of Super Wish( 52×11) on YTV, produced by Nelvana and Discovery’s joint venture, redknot, and created by Nelvana’s own Vanessa Esteves and Daytime Emmy® Award-winning art director, Adrian Thatcher. Plus, new episodes of Bakugan: Evolutions (26×22) will bring epic action to TELETOON. Then, everyone’s favourite P.U.R.S.T. agents continue the adventure with new episodes of the second season of Agent Binky: Pets of the Universe (52×11). Produced by redknot, the series is based on the best-selling books by Ashley Spires, published by Corus Entertainment’s Kids Can Press. Also returning to the network is a new season of Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go! (52×11), accompanied by a brand new special with the beloved engines Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go! Mystery at Lookout Mountain (1×60). 


YTV is the place to be for non-stop Fam Fun! Reaching more kids in its afterschool time block than any other kids station****** The Zone is delivering another year of cool contests, celeb interviews, games and sketches alongside The Zone Weekend and Big Fun Movies. Beloved hosts Spencer, Alex and Duhin return, plus new host Melony will make her on-air debut on June 6 on The Zone.  

Premiering on YTV in 2023, Popularity Papers(26×30) is the first scripted series to be announced since Corus became a majority stakeholder in the Academy Award® and Emmy Award®-nominated production company Aircraft Pictures. From Aircraft Pictures and WexWorks Media, the live-action comedy series, developed for television by Amanda Brooke Perrin and showrunner Vivian Lin, is based on the award-winning middle-grade book series by Amy Ignatow. The series tells the story of two best friends, Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang, who are on a mission to crack the popularity code and dismantle this crazy social construct for middle-schoolers everywhere. Using the scientific method, the girls conduct social experiments on their peers with hilarious results. 


History and Hungry Eyes Media present a groundbreaking exploration of Canada’s Black history in BLK: An Origin Story, premiering February 26

From a media release:

HISTORY® and Hungry Eyes Media Group announce the groundbreaking four-part docuseries, BLK: An Origin Story, premiering Saturday, February 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The limited series, consisting of four 60-minute episodes, reveals the deep historic impact of Black presence in Canada. Executive produced by Jen Holness and Sudz Sutherland, BLK: An Origin Story is helmed by Hungry Eyes’ award-winning production team, who takes viewers on a nationwide journey through time to discover the untold story of Black people in Canada and their legacy, which dates back to 1608.

BLK: An Origin Story is steeped in riveting, enduring, and multi-faceted historical Black Canadian narratives. Each episode transports viewers to a different Canadian location, and provides chronologically significant insights into the consequences of Black presence in the areas. Featured outposts include Nova Scotia, Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec. The series also highlights the legacy of Black contributions to the larger story of Canada itself, dating back to when explorer Mathieu de Costa first set foot on shore, more than 400 years ago. BLK: An Origin Story acts as an immersive and informative chapter of Black Canadian history, elevating remarkable Black Canadians previously unacknowledged in mainstream social, academic, and cultural circles, normalizing their unique stories as a matter of general record. 

BLK: An Origin Story elevates the unsung heroes who substantially contributed to Canada’s nation-building and to Black Canadian history. The series shines a spotlight on the origins of diverse and deeply entrenched Black Canadian experiences, which range from being transported, escaped, or freely traveled within Canada. Part history book, part geography lesson, each of the four episodes leverages compelling footage, art, locations, archival materials, and interviews from some of the country’s best known and under known experts of Black Canadian lore, facts, and pedagogy. The list of authors, academics, musicians, historians, community leaders, activists and elders include George Elliot Clarke, Lawrence Hill, Charmaine Nelson, El Jones, May Q Wong, and Stephanie Allen, among others. 

Episode Synopsis:

Episode 1: Three Epic Migrations, One People (NS)
Descendants of The Black Loyalists, Jamaican Maroons and The Black Refugees represent Canada’s largest Black population today. Their incredible story begins in Nova Scotia in the 1700s and challenges our understanding of what should be considered a distinct society.

Episode 2: John “Daddy” Hall (Owen Sound, ON)
Born free of an Ojibwe father and an escaped-slave mother in Upper Canada, John “Daddy” Hall fought in the war of 1812, was captured and sold into slavery. Thirteen years later he makes a daring escape and finds his way back to Canada.

Episode 3: Hogan’s Alley (Vancouver, BC)
Before Urban Renewal, before displacement, and before dispersal, there was life. For many years Hogan’s Alley was the heart of Vancouver’s Black community. But that community began in the 1850s, when James Douglas, (the father of British Columbia) invited Blacks to settle Vancouver Island in an effort to stave off American annexation.

Episode 4: Little Burgundy (Montreal, QC)
Tucked between Griffintown and St. Henri in Montreal’s Sud Ouest is Little Burgundy, home to a Black population led by Black men who worked in Canada’s railway industry as sleeping car porters. They were the first Black trade union to organize in North America and were among the leaders in the struggle for civil rights.

BLK: An Origin Story is produced by Hungry Eyes Media in association with Corus Studios for HISTORY. Executive Producers are Jen Holness and Sudz Sutherland. For Corus Studios and HISTORY, Kathleen Meek is the Executive in Charge of Production, Rachel Nelson is Vice President of Original Scripted, Factual and Kids Content, and Lisa Godfrey is Senior Vice President of Original Content and Corus Studios.


Family Law’s Jewel Staite: “In the beginning, I was concerned that she wouldn’t be likable”

The folks at Family Law are in a pretty sweet position. With Episode 7 set to air this Friday at 9 p.m. ET on Global, a second season has already been filmed and in the can; we’re just waiting to find out when they’ll be broadcast. Having a second season already completed is rare in television and led to some nerves for Jewel Staite.

Staite—who has starred on Canadian projects like The Detectives, Motive and Stargate: Atlantis and U.S. projects like Blindspot, The Magicians, The Killing, Wonderfalls and, of course, Firefly—was nervous about how viewers would take to the show and her character, Abby.

When we first meet Abby, she is at her lowest point. A recovering alcoholic, Abby has moved out of her family’s house and moved back in with her mother. As a condition of her probation to return to her legal duties, Abby works at the firm owned by her estranged father, Harry (Victor Garber), alongside half-brother Daniel (Zach Smadu) and half-sister Lucy (Genelle Williams), leading to plenty of drama and laughs.

We spoke to Jewel Staite about filming Family Law and crafting a complicated character like Abby.

We’re getting near the end of Season 1 of Family Law, and a second season has already been shot and in the can. That’s a pretty unique position to be in. How does it feel?
Jewel Staite: It’s pretty amazing. It shows that the network has a lot of faith in the show and is very behind it. We have felt supported, and the writers have felt supported by them and it’s great. Now, obviously, because it’s now on the air, things are a little bit more real. [Laughs.] We are open to public opinion now and it’s not just a show that we made in secret for us. Now, all we really want is a Season 3.

Are comedic performances in your background? From the eye rolls to physical comedy, your performance is a joy to watch.
JS: Thanks, I appreciate that. I don’t get to do a ton of comedy, so when I do I like to have a lot of fun with it. Luckily, the people around me on the show, including [creator] Susin Nielsen, really like the idea of going for the humour in scenes.

In the audition process, I tried to stand out by making it funny and making Abby a little quirky in how she was written. I’m grateful that they appreciated that and agreed with me that that was the route to go with her. Some of her behaviour is a little unlikable, and I thought, ‘How can I make this person more acceptable to the audience in her actions and the things that she says?’

Making a lead character tough to cheer for is a tall order.
JS: Exactly. I think, in the beginning, I was concerned that she wouldn’t be likable. I remember having this conversation with my husband where I said, ‘I just hope people like her.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, but if you go that route, you’re never going to approach it with honesty.’ I thought, ‘That’s completely right.’ It shouldn’t matter, and I should stick to making her as honest as possible, even if it means that, sometimes, she’s unlikeable and her behaviour is a little ugly.

Comedic moments aside, Family Law doesn’t shy away from tough conversations and scenes. When we meet Abby, her daughter, Sofia, is so embarrassed by her mother’s behaviour, and the larger themes of the show are dysfunctional relationships.
JS: Yeah, it is. And it’s real. It’s an entertaining show in that there are a lot of fun, shocking moments and some laughs, but the reality is these people are going through hard times, especially Abby. It’s a heartbreaking time for her; she misses her kids a lot, she has screwed up her life and sometimes feels like she’s never going to get it back on track. She is so desperate to get her family back. There are a lot of sad moments.

And then the cases that we deal with are really sad. There is a lot of tough subject matter in these episodes, but it’s a great juxtaposition. The goal was to make the audience laugh and cry in every episode. [Laughs.] It’s beautifully written and tugs at the heartstrings.

The dialogue and conversations these characters have are very believable. Susin Nielsen chalked a lot of that up to the relationship between the writers and the cast.
JS: As an actor, it’s so much easier to prepare and to remember the lines when it feels naturally conversational. Our writers are very gifted in that respect because we’re not improv-ing any of that stuff; everything is on the page and it flows beautifully. The characters surprise you with the things that they do and the things that they say but, at the same time, the way the characters are written and fleshed out, you feel like you are getting to know them very quickly.

The chemistry on this show was there from the very beginning. I don’t know if that was because the casting director [Maureen Webb] is amazing—because she is—or if it was just luck because we all just get each other. We’re on the same page and we have the same work ethic. We don’t rehearse a ton—we move very fast when we are shooting this show—and it keeps us on our toes and the day interesting. My favourite scenes are with the family because it feels so natural.

Family Law airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.

Images courtesy of Corus.